On Tuesday, a civil jury ruled that former President Donald Trump was responsible for sexually assaulting author E. Jean Carroll at a New York department store in the 1990s and defaming her for denying her allegations.
After deliberating less than three hours in federal district court in Manhattan, a jury of six men and three women ordered Trump to pay compensatory and punitive damages totaling $5 million.
Notably, the jury found Trump not liable for rape, the largest allegation made by Carroll in the lawsuit filed last year.
However, his ruling that he sexually assaulted and forcibly touched her without her consent during a chance encounter at a Bergdorf Goodman store established a civil claim for assault. The hearing of this case started from 25 April.
“I am filing this lawsuit against Donald Trump to clear my name and get my life back,” Carroll, 79, said in a statement Tuesday.
“Today the world finally knows the truth.
“This victory is not just for me, it is for all women who are suffering because they didn’t believe in themselves.”
His attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said in a statement, “No one is above the law, not even the former President of the United States.”
“For too long, survivors of sexual assault have faced walls of suspicion and intimidation,” Kaplan said. We hope and believe that today’s decision will be an important step in breaking down that barrier.”
Trump, who has never testified or appeared in court at the trial, condemned the decision in a post on his social media site, Truth Social.
76-year-old Trump wrote, ‘I do not know who this woman is. “This decision is outrageous.”
Her attorney, Joseph Tacopina, told CNBC, “Her claim was rape and the jury rejected it. It’s embarrassing to say the least.
“Obviously we will appeal,” Tacopina said.
He said unaffiliated trial judge Justice Lewis Kaplan, along with Roberta Kaplan, overturned a key ruling last year in another similar case that was going against Trump in a federal appeals court.
“We expect this to happen again,” the defense said.
Another lawsuit alleges that Trump defamed Carroll when she made public allegations of rape in a 2019 New York magazine article.
Trump was president at the time, and questions about whether he could be held liable for defamatory statements while he held that official office effectively stalled the case for years.
Tuesday’s test result is the latest legal blow in Trump’s early bid for the 2024 Republican nomination, but it probably won’t be the last.
In late March, he was indicted by a Manhattan State Supreme Court grand jury on nearly 30 counts of falsifying business records related to his 2016 hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. He pleaded not guilty to the incident.
Trump also faces a pending federal criminal investigation in connection with his efforts to reverse his defeat in the 2020 presidential election and his failure to file government documents on leaving the White House in early 2021.
and is facing possible indictment by a Georgia grand jury this summer for trying to secure Georgia state officials to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
Georgia was one of several races that gave Biden a victory in the Electoral College.
Trump cannot be accused of raping Carol. This is because the statute of limitations for such crimes has long passed.
However, Carroll sued in a civil battery suit under New York state law enacted later in 2022.
Carroll also alleged that Trump defamed her by saying that she had given an explanation that she had been raped last time.
At the time, Trump called her allegations “a complete hoax” and said she was not “his type”.
Despite these allegations, Trump misidentified Carroll in a photo of his second wife, Marla Maples, together during testimony about an affair taken by Robert Kaplan in the 1980s.
A portion of the video of his testimony was played for the jury during the trial and closing arguments on Monday.
In the testimony, Trump was questioned about his comments in 2005 during a taping of the entertainment TV show “Access Hollywood.” she boasted
“Just kiss me. I’m not even waiting,” Trump said on tape.
“And when you are a star, they let you do that. You can do anything,” he said.
During testimony, Trump told Carroll’s attorney that the comments were “locker room talk”.
But he also added, “Historically… it’s true. Jury’s said that they can grab women without permission.
“If you look back over the last million years, I think that was largely true,” Trump testified at the time.
“Not always, but mostly true. Fortunately or unfortunately.”
“I’m here because Trump raped me,” Carroll testified when she took the witness stand two weeks ago.
Carroll recalled meeting Trump one late afternoon at Bergdorf Goodman to talk, and he recognized her as an advice columnist.
She testified that when they entered the store’s lingerie department, he took her to a dressing room, where he pushed her against a wall and sexually assaulted her.
Two of Carroll’s friends, Lisa Birnbach and Carol Marin, soon testified that Trump had told them that he had raped her.
Two other women testified that they kissed and groped Trump without their consent, in incidents that occurred years later.
A spokesman for Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign said Tuesday that “the Democrats’ endless witch-hunt against President Trump hit a new low today” in response to the ruling.
“In a jurisdiction completely controlled by the Democratic Party, our nation’s justice system is now compromised by extreme left-wing politics,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“Make no mistake, this entire hoax is a political effort aimed at President Trump, as he is now the frontrunner to be re-elected President of the United States of America.”
But Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn told reporters at the Capitol that the jury’s decision would not affect Trump’s candidacy, adding, “The truth is, I don’t think he can be president.”
According to NBC News, Cornyn said, “He has a solid base of support, but that base alone will not win the general election.” “So you have to appeal to a broad spectrum of people, and it doesn’t seem like he’s trying to do that. So to me, that’s why I don’t think he can get elected.”